Better late than never: Happy 50th Anniversary!

We’re a few days late, but Happy 50th Anniversary, Star Trek!  At Trenderfriend, we profess our love of all things Trek, and this is a big one.

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Image credit: CBS Television, CBS Home Entertainment/Memory Alpha
Considering that Star Trek was a TV show that was cancelled only 3 seasons in, it’s amazing how far it’s come 50 years later: Five TV shows, with another set to debut in January 2017, 13 feature films that have grossed over 1.7 billion dollars over the past 37 years, and a following in the millions the world over, Star Trek is popular for many reasons to many people.  But one thing about Star Trek’s longevity isn’t just the hopeful nature of the series set 300 years in the future, but about it’s very close yet savvy inspection of today’s global issues as projected onto a vision of a thriving future.
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Image credit: CBS Television, CBS Home Entertainment/Memory Alpha
Even from the first episode that aired on September 8, 1966 (which really wasn’t that good, just fyi), Star Trek was able to tackle deep philosophical issues that were seemingly taboo to talk about, regardless of the space-faring setting.  Sometimes, the execution of the episodes was shoddy at best, considering that the budget for this show was incredibly tiny and insufficient.  But that didn’t matter, because if you were like us and watched the show most likely in syndication (which is essentially on in perpetuity), your imagination was able to ‘fill in the blank’ where and when the episode-of-the-week left gaps.
And that is why the show endures, because even with the occasional lack of development, your imagination craves a show like Star Trek.  And when it’s not on the air, it feels like something is missing.  And when a new show is announced, the anticipation for it to start is palpable for many.  Developing an imagination because of pop culture icons didn’t start with Star Trek, but the show and all of it’s incarnations do it best.  Other sci-fi blockbusters, most notably Star Wars, are pretty thrilling and very entertaining in their own right.  But the realization sets in that they are more escapist fantasy, and provide simple and easy distraction from the realities of the modern world.  Star Trek has become almost like a primer on how to carry our oftentimes idiotic civilization into the future.  Bumps along the way are inevitable, but art and pop-culture have a funny and seemingly prescient way of showing humans what we’re capable of, sometimes if we can’t believe it right away.
That’s why Star Trek lives and will continue to live – who knows, if this blog is still around on Sept 6, 2066, imagine what kind of amazing world we could be living in while celebrating Star Trek’s 100th Anniversary.  Live Long and Prosper indeed.

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